If Net Neutrality is Repealed, I Will Boycott Internet Services
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In an American era where the values of free speech, progress, and innovation are increasingly threatened, the free and equal internet serves as a haven for ingenuity, discovery, and cultural conversation. Media monopolies finally have a figurehead seated at the helm of the FCC. Their current move to 'deregulate' the free and equal internet is a move to hand the internet over to the same corporate powers that have been taking over our government. Underground and smaller-scale artists, writers, activists, and entrepreneurs will be silenced; Political discourse can be orchestrated behind the scenes; The ears and eyes, hearts, minds and wallets of the American public will be sold to the highest bidder.
We've all heard remarks that the loss of a free and equal internet could be a call to simpler times. Many of us have learned helplessness in the face of threats to our basic freedoms, where efforts to mobilize in an attempt to save things as basic as freedom of speech and clean water are being squashed by the Oligarchy. With an internet that continues to be consumed, but is controlled by big money and devoid of the true voices of the people, we will be moving into an era of information monopoly, control, and censorship.
In the case that protections for a free and equal internet are revoked:
The only way to ensure that we will retain a sense of efficacy as consumers, and perhaps the only way to make these soul-less corporations feel our distain, is to promptly cancel at least one of our subscriptions to the 'services' they are selling us, if not all, at least temporarily (if not permanently). So much of the American population has grown accustomed to being 'plugged-in' on a 24-hour basis. While those who suffer from an addiction to social media may not be willing to take such drastic action, those of us who lived at least part of our adult lives without forums, selfies, and non-stop social simulation could wield a powerful force to influence a future in which truth and freedom will continue to be harbored and accessible in American media. WE, THE PEOPLE, WILL SEVER SUBSCRIPTIONS, PAYMENTS, AND TIES TO SERVICE PROVIDERS IN THE CASE THAT NET NEUTRALITY IS REPEALED.
In 2015, the average subscription pay-TV customer paid $123 per month for pay-TV (www.fool.com). That same year, figures for monthly internet service averaged $50 per month, I'm currently billed at about $60 for home service and an additional $15 for mobile internet. If the internet becomes infiltrated by corporate interest and content geared toward funneling sales and political power, it will become one giant algorithmic salesman, generating desires and problems in order to tout solutions in the guise of choice. Many will go about their daily lives oblivious, responding to the online assault in predictable ways, by making purchases and forming beliefs they will not even be aware of. I refuse to pay someone to come into my home and try to influence my mind, my actions, and how I choose to waste my time and money. I would rather give that money over to a few DVD rentals, lunch with a group of concerned citizens, a night out at the movies, and the independent media outlet of my choosing.
Though many of us may not have fallen prey to the addictive nature of social media, we continue to consume entertainment via the internet, we have uploaded vast stores of our own personal media (photos, video, music, cloud storage) to the internet, and we connect with friends both near and far. To put it bluntly, they think they have us by the balls. It's time to put our money where our minds are, out of the control of those who seek to control us.
Join me in vowing to cancel all subscriptions to internet and cable services in the unfortunate event that our free and equal internet is handed over to American monopolies. You can commit to end subscriptions for a month, a year, or indefinitely. When you sign your name, decide how long you will disconnect and share your commitment with your circle of friends. If protections are repealed, those who vow to hit these monsters where it hurts will immediately cease payments and subscriptions. We will announce our departures and then share some of the cool things we're doing in lieu of daily internet engagement from a seat at the local Mom and Pop shop once or twice a week. Where we have will, we will find or make a way. Imagine $60-$100 per person committing to cancel their services, per month! This is the only way to get the greediest of the greedy to listen the voice of the people.
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